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Physics at Mountain View

Mountain View offers courses in both physics and astronomy.

Physics is the basic science that studies nature with respect to matter, motion, interplaying forces such as gravity, electricity and magnetism, energy, heat, sound, light and the structure of atoms and subatomic particles.

Astronomy is the branch of physics that studies celestial objects such as planets, asteroids, comets, stars, supernovae, black holes, galaxies, and the universe as a whole.

Physics lab

The physics labs at Mountain View College provide a hands-on, practical complement to readings, lectures, and demonstrations. By doing these lab exercises in a thoughtful way, you will demonstrate basic principles of physics for yourself. You will also develop analytical thinking, problem-solving, and troubleshooting skills. Furthermore, you will improve your ability to work with other students as a team. Finally, you will start to develop the ability to graph, analyze, and interpret your own data.

In our lab we use virtual as well as hands-on lab exercises, incorporating the graphing capabilities of the latest PASCO Capstone software. Students also work in teams on semester-long projects that result in working models of residential electrical systems, roller coasters, and many other possibilities. These projects enable students to improve their extemporaneous speaking ability and writing ability, and require the use of PowerPoint software. Students also have the opportunity to learn Mathematica software, which is widely used in industry.

The physics lab exercises are not simply procedures to be mindlessly followed. To gain any benefit from the labs at all, you must be constantly aware of the principles that the exercises are meant to illustrate, and actually use your knowledge from lectures and readings to interpret your lab data, and to understand the purpose behind the methods that you will use.